Pool safety pro shares tips to keep your family safe

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Sunday, May 21, 2023
Pool safety pro shares tips to keep your family safe
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Pool safety professional talks safety tips in response to 4-year-old drowning in Raleigh pool earlier this week.

Frank Verni has been busy over the past few weeks. "A lot of people think I'm the pool guy. I'm the pool safety guy that's it," said Verni.

He likes to think of himself as a pool safety pro. He installs pool fences at private and public pools in the Triangle. Thursday he was in Holly Springs.

"A pool fence is the most important layer of protection. It's a physical 4-foot barrier that a child cannot climb, they can't get a foothold, they can't climb it. It doesn't come out of the ground," explained Verni.

He's already installed 16 this season as a certified pro with Life Saver Pool Safety Fence & Solutions.

"Everybody is super vigilant about drowning now," he continued.

It comes after a four-year-old boy drowned Tuesday in a community pool.

Raleigh police received a call about a missing child from a family located in the Falls Creek Apartment Homes on Evergreen Forest Way. Officers found the toddler unresponsive in the community pool located behind the apartment complex's main office building.

It's not clear how the 4-year-old was able to access the pool area, but North Carolina law requires all public pools to be enclosed with self-latching gates.

Verni said families should go a step further by enclosing the pool. He showed ABC11 some of the benefits.

"This is the gate. It has self-closing hinges. It's key lockable. Always when you have a babysitter or grandma (looking after the child), lock this and take the key away," said Verni as he demonstrated the safety technique.

He said the pool fence is designed to make sure young kids can't squeeze through any openings or go underneath the fence

"Any four-inch round sphere should not be able to fit through anywhere in the fence. If they try to lift it up, they can't lift it. It's all about safety."

Safety is also top of mind for Wake County inspectors who make sure the nearly 1400 public pools in the county are compliant with state and county regulations. As of Thursday, 924 pools had passed their inspection this year.

Wake County has also compiled a database of all the public pools that have passed their inspections and have their permits. The list is available HERE.